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The ‘Best Penn State Place’ Bracket: Crowning The Champion

At long last, and largely thanks to your help, we’ve finally, scientifically, and officially determined the best Penn State place across the university’s storied history.

When our staff initially set out to rank and seed the best locations and spots at Penn State, some contenders obviously stood out above the rest. Still, underdogs like the No. 6-seeded Willard Building managed to knock out a few heavy hitters and even wind up in the semifinals.

Of course, when Penn Staters think back to their favorite Penn State places, they’ll likely recall beloved (or infamous) classrooms, their favorite dorms, world-class athletic venues, or even one-of-a-kind locations like the Arboretum or the Berkey Creamery.

However, if you ask Onward State’s readers, no place captures “Penn State” quite like Beaver Stadium. The beloved home of Penn State football secured a win over fellow No. 1 seed Old Main in the final matchup, surprisingly downing the university’s prized landmark by earning nearly 66% of the vote.

In essence, Beaver Stadium encapsulates the Penn State experience. Nearly every Nittany Lion, young and old, can recall fond memories from the stadium’s bleachers.

Of course, most of those memories are likely related to football, as the Nittany Lions have played on the stadium’s site for decades. Beaver Stadium has received a handful of facelifts over the years, eventually raising its capacity north of 106,000 and making it the second-largest stadium in the western hemisphere. With thousands of Nittany Lions fans in the stands, Penn State has produced viral and legendary moments in Beaver Stadium, including head-pounding crowd noise, resounding cheers for stunning upsets, and record-breaking 409th wins. Beaver Stadium has seen plenty of dire moments, too, but we don’t need to talk about that nine-overtime loss to Illinois anymore.

Outside of football, Beaver Stadium served as the backdrop for dozens of Penn State graduations up until 1984. Last year, the university’s commencement ceremonies returned to Beaver Stadium once more amid the COVID-19 pandemic (chicken baskets not included). Either way, it’s clear Beaver Stadium played a pivotal role in some of the biggest moments for generations of Penn Staters.

Beaver Stadium’s importance was on full display last fall when, for the first time in 651 days, the Penn State faithful returned to the stands to watch the Nittany Lions take on Ball State. More than 105,000 Penn Staters showed up in full force to both cheer on their team and take a well-earned step back to normalcy. Going without Saturdays in Beaver Stadium since November 30, 2019, taught us a lot, and we’re surely not going to take them for granted anytime soon.

Next up for Penn State fans is the Blue-White spring game on April 23 — the first since 2019! Whether you make it into the stands to scout the team or prefer to spend your afternoon in the tailgate lots, take pride in Beaver Stadium and the fun we get to have inside of it. After all, it’s now officially the best Penn State place.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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